Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Early Season Cooling

The first hunt in the Fall, for the traveling bird hunter, is a joy unto itself.  All the grass cutting, hedge trimming, house repairing, dog training, trout fishing, whining, and coveting new equipment has been focused on the day the Beast heads north by west.  It's an exciting time for a bird hunter! There are very few drawbacks to this time of year, but there is one.  It's still hotter than four Hells in a lot of the country, and that includes all of the South. I have searched and researched for a cooling method for my dogs, who will reside in individual crates (Intermediate-sized Ruff Tough Kennels) in the covered bed of my truck. I tried the "open all the windows and drive fast technique", but I don't care how fast you drive,  you can't drive fast enough to cool off 95 deg. air at 90% humidity! I tried the fans- same issue.  I tried the cooler that uses ice water.  It was expensive, loud, and just didn't put out the volume for the back of the truck.  I used PVC pipe to send the AC air from the front to the back.  That worked better, but still was cumbersome and took up too much room in the back seat.  Finally, I discovered the "noogle".

Noogle laying out
Attached to Vent

The Noogle attaches to the a FRONT vent and winds its way to the back window in to the bed area.  Because it attaches to the a large front vent, the volume is much greater.

Noogle passing through into bed and splitter.
I attached a home made splitter using PVC plumbing supplies from a large, box store, reducing the flow from 2" noogle to 1 1/2' pool cleaning hose.

Noogle into splitter

Splitter with hoses through back window into dog deck.
Once that was done. I enlarged a hole on the side of the Ruff Tough Kennel and simply stuck the hose end in.  I elected to have the air come in at face level for a dog lying down. I think improvements can be made to the distribution of air in the kennel, but it seems satisfactory, for now.

Hose hole enlarged a small amount.
Same for the other rear kennel
Rear kennels with cooling hoses attached.
The test came when I inserted a thermometer in to a box (front, left) on an 88-90 degree, high humidity,  sunny day, and went for a drive.  Of course, when I started, the temp in the kennels was 90 degrees.  Once I cranked up and put the AC full cold with the air coming out of the dashboard, the temp dropped to 76 degrees in the back forward kennel, after about 15 minutes of driving.  The outside temperature stayed pretty close to 88.  It's important to keep the back windows closed.  Small airleaks will allow the shell to act as a venturi and "suck" cold air from the cabin, through the small connecting window to augment the cool air from the tubing.

I am happy with this setup, and I know I'll rest better knowing my guys are staying at least 10-15 deg. cooler back there.